A huge sum of money earmarked as matching grant for the Universal Basic Education (UBE) has been left in the federal government’s coffer un-accessed by the state governments.
According to a report released by the Federal Ministry of Education on Friday, about N44, 100,207,962.60 set aside as UBE matching grants between 2005 and 2012 was not accessed as at 31 of December, 2012.
Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa’i , Minister of Education while speaking at the presentation held at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja called for private sector participation in the commercialization of research products churned out from tertiary institutions.
Such partnership, she noted would further boost the nation’s economy through employment opportunities for the youths and by extension reduce the importation of similar products from other countries.
“Over the years, we have been aware that pockets of innovations exist in our educational institutions. The challenge has been that of bringing these out to the public domain through commercialization so that they can serve the interest of society.
“The ultimate advantage of commercializing is that it would help enhance the nation’s competitive standing globally as a nation,” she said.
The report, which was prepared in collaboration with the parastatals under the ministry, also revealed that a total of 10.5 million children of school age and mostly from the north are not yet exposed to basic education.
In addition, it identified factors, militating smooth delivery of basic education in the year under review. Some of the factors include teacher quality, inadequate classroom furniture, libraries, laboratories and relevant text books.